A welterweight fight between Thiago Alves (19-9 MMA, 11-6 UFC) and Matt Brown (17-11 MMA, 10-5 UFC) is targeted for the UFC’s late-summer return to Boston.
Sources with knowledge of the bout on Saturday told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the planned fight, which MMAFighting.com reported earlier in the day.
The UFC debuts on the new FOX Sports 1 cable network with a live event from TD Bank Garden in Boston on Aug. 17, the same day the network launches. Live UFC events on the channel will replace events currently airing on FX and FUEL TV.
While Alves-Brown is the first fight to materialize for the card, UFC President Dana White recently told a small group of reporters prior to UFC 159 in Newark, N.J., that the event would be “the best television card we’ve ever done.”
Alves will return to the octagon for the first time since a March 2012 loss to Martin Kampmann in Australia. In that fight, he was winning handily deep into the third round. But going after a takedown, Kampmann caught him in a guillotine choke to finish the fight. Alves was expected to return at UFC 149 in July 2012, but pulled out with an injury. He then elected to take the time to rehab several nagging ailments with the hope of a stronger return.
A seven-fight win streak earned him a shot at welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre at UFC 100, a fight he lost by unanimous decision to set off his current 2-4 stretch.
The surging Brown has won five straight and six of his past seven to become one of the hottest fighters in the 170-pound division. At UFC on FOX 7 two weeks ago, he picked up a “Fight of the Night” bonus by stopping Jordan Mein with a second-round TKO. At UFC on FOX 5, he knocked out Mike Swick in the second round.
In his five-fight run, he has four knockout or TKO stoppages, and his lone decision win over Stephen Thompson at UFC 145 was a dominant performance that included a pair of 30-27 scores. His current run came after a three-fight skid and four losses in five fights had his UFC job in jeopardy.
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(Pictured: Thiago Alves)